Thursday 19 December 2013

Radio Silence...

I just moved and I am having difficulty getting high speed Internet service out in the country. It may take upwards of three weeks to be posting again, but I'll try from the library occasionally.  


Monday 16 December 2013

Roman Glass Beads from Afghanistan...

Oops. I forgot I was supposed to post these. Many thanks to Vienna for reminding me. I -- the Queen of Procrastination -- will be moving tomorrow and Wednesday so I just had to dig these out from under the snow -- joking -- they're safe and dry, but were buried in a box. I will do anything to avoid packing early as I love to leave everything until the last moment. I mean, you never know -- I might need whatever "everything" is, right? (I'm not a total loss, I do label boxes now...)

I got a really good deal on these Roman glass beads from Afghanistan. My wholesaler has a wall where they hang ends of lines and super deals and in November I scored these beads. I'm passing the savings along to my customers.

Each string is one of a kind. I chose strings with no broken beads, and the beads (drilled through) all have 1.5 to 2mm cleanly-drilled holes, so they're perfect for knotting onto leather, for example. The strings of flat pieces, which are drilled at each end, look to have about 1 mm holes. Email me if you'd like more closeup photos -- and for availability! As they sell, I will mark it on the photos.

Here is the photo I first posted, and I'll post the strings in the same order below from left to right.

Comparison of the large chunky Roman glass beads, and the smaller chunky string; 1.5-2.0 mm cleanly-drilled holes; as you can see, there's nice iridescence on many of the beads.

Large chunky Roman glass beads, about 20" in length, $65:

String 1, flat pieces of Roman glass shards, drilled at each end, hole size approximately 1 mm, about 18" in length, $32:

String 3, flat pieces of Roman glass shards, drilled at each end, hole size approximately 1 mm, about18" in length, $32:

String 2, flat pieces of Roman glass shards, drilled at each end, hole size approximately 1 mm, about18" in length, $32:

String 3, Roman glass shards with the light shining through:

Small chunky Roman glass beads, about 18-19" in length, $60:

Medium to deep green graduated Roman glass coin beads, slightly matte or frosted effect on some of the beads, about 18" in length, $16:

Light pink, brown and green Roman glass coin beads, slightly frosted/sugary surface on many of the beads, about 17-18" in length, $16:

Shipping and handling is extra; the final amount will depend on weight, where you live, your need for speed and if insurance is required. I take Visa and MasterCard via Square, as well as PayPal. Please email me for availability. 

Thanks for looking!

Sunday 15 December 2013

Experimenting with "vine-wrapping"...

I was busy at the market yesterday. I mentioned back in late September about taking a "vine-wrapped pendant" course from Judy Feskun through the Grand River Bead Society at our meeting in Guelph. I finally got Jan's undrilled lump of malachite wrapped and she flipped. The difficulty came because I had to hide a glob of glue that I was never able to completely sand off the top and while I'm not 100% sure I like what I came up with, Jan walked by my table at the market every hour or so muttering, "I love my pendant, I love my necklace." Always nice to get positive feedback!

Note the snowman earrings -- from last year.
White jadeite & red Swarovski crystal spacers with a matte black jet heishi hat.

What I really like is that Jan can wear the necklace with either side showing. She also likes that the necklace is longer so she can put the necklace on over her head without having to undo/do up the clasp (which is oversize anyway). I notice people have been commenting on the larger clasps I've been using -- some think they're overkill -- but then they become converts when they realise how easily the necklace or bracelet go on.

Because there was an extra bead from the original necklace, I started playing with vine-wrapping that in order to bulk it up a bit to use as a pendant for a second necklace I'm making to use up the rest of the 4mm malachite rounds I'd bought to lengthen the original necklace.

Every angle is different, and the wrapping hides the chewed-up bit on one side of the bead:

Note that this is the true colour of the malachite but while the wire looks like brass, it's actually bright copper. I'm still working on overcoming the weird light at the market.

Then I strung some pewter skulls with some extra beads left over from a restringing project to make a bracelet for one of my male customers:

And finally, here is the finished version of Winter's raven skull necklace (originally two separate projects) that we worked on over the course of a couple of Saturdays. I'm a big believer in sending people away to test-drive their jewellery for a few weeks and then come back for adjustments. Turns out she decided she wanted both necklaces to be combined into one (because she found she wears them both at the same time), plus she wanted a way to be able to add more stuff in the future (hence the large jump rings).

The necklace is adjustable for length in three ways: first, overall; then the shorter centre piece with the raku skull and body parts can be loosened off or tightened up; finally, the height of the raku skull cord relative to the overall necklace and raven skull can be changed by loosening off and moving a knot on either side of the main piece of leather cord.

For all you procrastinators, there's still time to order something for Christmas (I adhere to the Italian gift-giving date of January 6th on the Feast of the Epiphany so there's plenty of wiggle room) so contact me either by email or come and see me at the market on Saturday and we'll see what we can come up with.

Yo to procrastinating sig/others: I can't tell you how many ladies have told me what they hope their sig/other will get them for Christmas. A gift certificate or a promissory note for something from my table tucked into a card will make a great and perfect and stress-free gift. Just a suggestion/reminder/kick in the pants.

Thanks for looking!

Friday 13 December 2013

Early Christmas Present...

My favourite kind -- early, cheap, on sale, fits me perfectly, love the colour -- and I got to play with the box it came in.

Give up?

I bought myself an office-chair-in-a-box from Liquidation World here in Paris (not the real one), which is itself liquidating, so everything is 20% off including Yum Yum Chips, which I loooove (and who looooove me), and all kinds of Christmas goodies. Too bad LW is closing. It's a nifty place to spend 15 or 20 minutes in while you wait for your pizza or Chinese food to be ready down the strip mall, not to mention a lot quieter and cleaner and brighter than the Waaaaal-Marts of the world, I don't have to drive all over the countryside to get to it, aaaaand great prices.

It has never failed to amaze me what one can build with a simple little Allen key.

Unfortunately, I got no jewellery made this week. I've been typing my brains out while trying to recuperate my knees and back. My back is doing okay, but my knees are pretty much toast. However, I will be putting some things together tomorrow at the market and I will endeavour to remember to photograph them this time. Last week I fixed Winter's raven skull and raku human skull, hands and feet necklace... you gotta see it. It came out pretty cool. She's bringing me more skulls to play with and fix.

Because it's been so bloody cold the past few days and we're bracing for our first dump of the fluffy stuff this weekend, a memory of a warmer, kinder, fuzzier time and place...

G'night and thanks for looking.

Sunday 1 December 2013

Old Hand-Cut Malachite to Restring...

I was given a string of old hand-cut malachite to restring that my customer has had for decades. Here is the before picture. I've finished it off with a copper clasp and added six inches of length with 4mm rounds in a dark malachite. Once I've finished the pendant, I'll post the finished item.

The largest beads in the centre are about 10mm but most are in the 4mm to 6 or 7mm range, and, as you can see, rondellishly shaped. All are hand cut and drilled, very chewed up. The range of colours and the banding is truly beautiful. The chunk is really something, just over an inch tall. That's a lump of glue from a botched repair job that I couldn't quite finish sanding off. Tiny blue-green glass seed beads in between, smaller than 11/0, but not as small as 15/0. I've been questioned about not doing anything more with these beads but this is what the customer wanted -- i.e. for the beads to simply be restrung.  
Due to an aching back and knees from hauling heavy boxes, bins and metal grids up and down steep stairs to do the loading up and unloading for the show last weekend, I had to do a market lite version of my market table yesterday. I've been in bed pretty much for the past four days otherwise (and, yes, realised too late that I should NOT have attempted the market -- thanks to Jim and Jan for loading up my truck for me!), and as soon as I get back with a few groceries this morning and empty the truck of bins (into the garage only) I will be back in horizontal mode. Off to the doc on Wednesday. While living alone has its peace and warm, fuzzy pleasures -- I can eat cereal for dinner and go to bed with my book at 6 p.m. when and if I feel like it -- there are also the terrifying perils and pitfalls when the things we take for granted, like mobility, go bump in the night.

Interestingly, I sold a wrapped kyanite pendant yesterday. I only had 4mm kyanite rounds with me at the Gem Expo last weekend. Several people came looking for it but no one had any. Has anyone else been getting more requests than usual for anything kyanite? For what it's worth, I do have more sizes and shapes here for sale and will photograph and post pix this week.

Thanks for looking!